Rom. 12:2 - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (NASB)
Today, mainstream media's reporting of news in the United States focuses on items grabbing most attention. Coverage consists of the latest controversy, scandal, mass killing, homicide, drug and gang activity, tragic accidents or natural disaster, etc. One segment on a good or noble matter is included for posterity.
Satellite TV brings +200 channels and a 24 hour cycle with "experts" discussing, debating, and ultimately denigrating one another on content and implications of these incidents. Lasting until a new sensational event occurs. Most disheartening is listening to other Christians spending excessive time addressing temporal impacts at church gatherings or fellowships. The focus is usually on possible effects to way of life or beliefs.
The exchanges are not as heated or using "colourful language" like non-believers. However, without knowing one may conclude there is no difference from non-Christians. This is not to propose placing of "head in the sand" or view only through rose coloured glasses. Now aware, add the people and leaders to our individual prayer list asking God for a mighty move.
In a fallen world of death, darkness, and sin ... what mind set am I to possess? Jesus Christ was acutely aware of events and oppression of Roman rule.
Luke 13:4 - "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?" (NASB)
First, my mind is to be as Christ's complete in humility, placing others needs above my own. (Phil. 2:5) Second, dwell on Christ seated in heavenly places; life now hidden in God. (Col. 3:2) The last suggestion comes from a verse memorized and repeated many times over the years. Believing understood yet becoming far too familiar and losing its' meaning.
Directed by the Holy Spirit for further study and allowing Him to expand apprehension of spirit and soul.
Phil. 4:8 - "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." (NASB)
Looking at this verse, key words are examined which God directs my mind to think on. Each English word is transliterated to Greek. This process of expanding definitions enabled greater discernment:
True - Alethes meaning undeniable. Literally unable to be hidden; attested from being tested.
Honourable - Semnos denoting reverence or awe from great respect due to weightiness, gravity, or majesty.
Right - Dikaios conformed to God's own being or approval of righteousness.
Pure - Hagnos holy, undefiled from sin, untainted or unadulterated.
Lovely - Prosphiles extending toward, worthy of affection, prized, or effort to embrace.
Good Repute - Euphemos sounding or speaking well.
Excellence - Arete properly or virtuous in living to ones' full potential.
Praise - Epainos properly fitting commendation or accurate acknowledgement.
This verse many now read as follows:
Finally, brethren, whatever is undeniable, whatever is majestic, whatever is approved of God, whatever is untainted, whatever is worthy of reaching to embrace, whatever is spoken well of, if there is any virtue in the Lord and if anything worthy of commendation, dwell on these things.
In humility of heart and mind set on Christ, contemplation now rests in the undeniable of God. Change in perspective and life ensues. Clinging to the majestic and approved things of His Kingdom, earthly hold in life fades. Straining in the Spirit to reach and embrace the untainted in Christ's power, leaves nothing temporal of comparison!
In the midst of great evil and darkness, hold fast to Christ Jesus. Meditate on things spoken well of and virtuous in Him, replacing control of decaying preoccupations of the world. To the Lord of Host, acknowledge and commend for holy is He. A natural outflowing, offering our bodies as living sacrifices of worship to God. (Rom. 12:1)
Renewing of mind begins and practicing things learned and taught. (Phil. 4:9) Peace surpassing understanding overcomes a world of fear. God's love in Christ overcomes the one yearning to steal our soul. Drawing near to our Redeemer and Lord, the Spirit flows forth as a river of life and God's love.
Calling to the world, taste and see the Lord is good. Repent and turn, make the great exchange of sin for clothing in Christ's righteousness. Now partaking in the wedding feast of the Lamb; dwelling in the house of the Lord forever!
Attributions: New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Bold, Italics, Underline - Mine
In the midst of great evil and darkness, hold fast to Christ Jesus.
Amen! The sum of all
Excellent and I cannot go past Beth M's comment.
I love this. While we must be aware of what is going on around us, we cannot be distracted by it lest we be in danger of taking our eyes off of Christ and setting them on this world. I wrote a blog a long time ago about how our feet follow our eyes. Wanting to prove that was true, I attempted to walk through the door of the room I was in with my eyes looking not at the door but elsewhere. I couldn't do it, Les. I couldn't make it through the door because I kept veering off the path and heading over to where my eyes were focused. I couldn't reach the door until I set my eyes on it. Then and only then could I reach and walk out the door. We must fix our eyes on Christ, not the world.